I travel with many cameras, but find more and more often that it’s my phone that I use to capture whatever experience I’m having–it’s small, quick, easy and unobtrusive. And so after arriving in Hiroshima, I spent one day wandering through this infamous city, iPhone in hand. As an American visitor, I couldn’t help feeling the weight of what had transpired in this place. Seen through the eyes of history, the city of Hiroshima takes on a somewhat ethereal quality, which I tried to capture (once again) by shooting with the iPhone app Hipstamatic.

 

Hiroshima Today

Built on the island delta of the Ota River, Hiroshima has grown into a city of over one million people. (AE, NGS)

 

T-Bridge

The intended target point for the first atomic bomb, this T-shaped bridge (shown in a model at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum) survived the blast. A similar bridge stands in its place today. (AE, NGS)

 

Hypocenter

On August, 6, 1945, the atomic bomb exploded 1,900 feet above the Shima Surgical Clinic on Otemachi Street. Following the war, the clinic was rebuilt and now treats patients with digestive disorders. (AE, NGS)

 

Bank of Japan, Hiroshima Branch

Just one thousand feet from the bomb’s hypocenter, the Bank of Japan was one of the few buildings to withstand the atomic blast. Heat from the explosion etched a human shadow into the stone steps where a customer had been sitting at the time. The morbid remnant is on display at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. (AE, NGS)

 

Atomic Dome

Near the bomb’s hypocenter, ruins of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall have been preserved as a permanent reminder of the horrors of nuclear weapons. The site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996. (AE, NGS)

 

Peace Memorial

Covering an area that was originally flattened by the atomic explosion, Hiroshima’s Peace Park is a quiet area of gardens and memorials. This central peace memorial contains the official registry of the victims of the A-bomb, now listing over 269,000 names.

 

Children’s Peace Memorial

Built in 1958, the Children’s Peace Memorial is dedicated to Sadako Sasaki, a young Hiroshima girl who developed leukemia following the atomic bomb. She died in 1955 at the age of 12, but not before folding over one thousand origami paper cranes — a tradition that continues to be carried on as a symbol for peace.

 

Paper cranes

A traditional symbol of long life in Japan, colorful chains of one thousand origami cranes adorn the peace memorial to atomic bomb victim Sadako Sasaki. Every year, over two million visitors come to Hiroshima’s peace memorial.

 

Hiroshima Toyo Carp

Founded in 1950 as part of the city’s recovery effort, the Hiroshima Carp form part of Japan’s professional baseball league. It was not until 1975 that they won the league championship. This advertisement for the 2011 season covers the floor of the Hiroshima train station (Yes, the team’s uniforms were copied directly from those of the Cincinatti Reds).

 

Okonomiyaki

A chef works quickly over a hot grill to create Hiroshima’s own unique version of the Japanese food, “Okonomiyaki” (literally, “what you want cooked”). The dish is made from layers of different foods (noodles, cabbage, meat, vegetables, and cheese) that are cooked separately, then flipped and pressed together into a single, thick pancake. (AE, NGS)

Comments

  1. Richard
    Oakland, NJ
    September 18, 2011, 8:53 pm

    At the beginning of August, this year, my wife and I had rented bicycles and were seeing the sights in Hiroshima. Typical tourists from the US, we were visiting the museums and memorials taking photos freely. While mounting my bicycle, just to one side of the Children’s Peace Memorial, I dropped my map. Four elderly women on a bench nearby called out, bringing this to my attention. Before I could ride off, they called my wife and me over to where they were sitting. Offering us cookies, cool barley tea, and frozen face cloths, they laughed while we struggled to communicate. They knew no English, but their smiles and kindness, on a brutally hot day, communicated their tremendous grace. Before we left to continue our tour, they insisted on taking a group photo. My deepest regret from our wonderful time in Hiroshima was that I neglected to also take a photo of these kind survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima with us, two American tourists.

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